• Gabriela Dittrichova

Freelance breaks: how to be efficient when you don’t have work

Do you know that feeling when you don’t have anything to do? Like NOTHING?! I guess most freelancers do, others just call it boredom (yak!). For most freelancers, breaks are a natural part of their career. It’s time when you ease your mind before creativity kicks in and you can start all over again. Is it scary or sound?



Taking breaks is something every freelancer experiences from time to time - voluntarily or not. And it’s absolutely fine. It feels like you’ll never work again, usually accompanied by massive procrastination, but it creates unnecessary space to take a step back before a new project occurs.


Having time to do nothing allows you, to strengthen your personal brand or decide what projects you want to work on next.

Having time to do nothing is frustrating because you’ve got bills to pay. But it also allows you, the freelancer, to work on strengthening your personal brand or explore what projects would you like to work on next. Without it, you’d be consumed by a whirlwind of projects that might not (at) all make sense to you. And that’d be wrong.


Sometimes, the opposite happens. You end up taking on more work than you can handle and end up fighting a panic attack, extreme pressure and anxiety (unless you perform better under pressure, which is fine but enough is enough). Over-commitment happens to most of us. The important thing is to say no and put yourself first.


On the bright side, career breaks push you to think creatively. They allow you to rearrange your priorities and rethink your personal brand. To finally make sense of all the projects you’ve been participating in and arrange them into a solid portfolio.


What I’m trying to say is that the time in-between projects can be threatening but fruitful. And yes, though you might be on the verge of a mental breakdown, at the back of your mind, you’ll know that things are gonna work out. If you send a prayer to the universe, you will receive a job offer in return; at the right time and your state of mind. And if not, it might be a sign. Maybe something new and exciting is climbing up the horizon.


Freelancers are adventurers. They are risk-takers and enthusiasts who are passionate about their work more than anything else in the world. I’m so proud to count myself among them and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even if I feel like crying from time to time, I know that the right time will bring me new opportunities and make me face new challenges. I just need to remember to be patient and enjoy the time off. It won’t last forever.


Photo credit: Kertwo K. (@kertwo_com)

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© 2020 by Gabrielle Ditt.

Design Management & Cultures